Gerbera Daisy Care – Tips On How To Grow Gerbera Daisies
Gerbera daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) are commonly grown for their bright and cheerful daisy-like flowers. They originate from South Africa and come in various sizes and colors including pink, yellow, salmon, orange and white, with flower sizes anywhere from 2 to 5 inches (2-13 cm.) across.
There are many gerbera daisy cultivars available, bred for their color and flower shape (single, double or multiple petals). For better results in how to care for a gerbera daisy plant, choose a variety that is compact, as flower stems will be sturdier on compact plants, and one that suits the pot size or planting bed you will be growing in.
How to Grow Gerbera Daisies
Growing gerbera daisy plants is possible from seed, seedlings or division. Seed is the cheapest method, but seeds must be sown immediately as they lose viability quickly after opening. Keep in mind seeds may also not be true to form.
Growing from seedlings or divided plants is easier and you can be sure what the flower type will be. If you have older plants, the crowns can be lifted and divided in early spring. Remove lower leaves and replant immediately.
Gerbera Daisy Planting Guide
Plants thrive in a position with full sun and sandy soil. A little compost added at planting will encourage good flower growth. With newly sown seeds, a well-draining propagation mix is a must, as is bright indirect light.
Crown rot is a common problem with gerbera daisies, which is caused by planting the crowns too deeply. The crown should be visible above the soil and allowed to dry out between each watering. Plants can be mulched, but care must be taken that mulch does not cover the crown. If you live in a wet or humid climate or have heavy soil, try planting in well-draining pots instead.
How to Care for a Gerbera Daisy Plant
Gerbera daisies are susceptible to fungal diseases, although older varieties less so. Fungal sprays do not generally prevent crown rot, so correct planting and watering are essential for gerbera daisy care.
Make sure you plant them with adequate spacing and in high light areas. A little bit of light shade in high summer is alright, but without full, direct light the plants will get leggy and pale and not produce nearly as many blooms.
Water in the morning so leaves can dry out during the day to lessen the risk of rot and fungal diseases.
Gerbera daisy care can also be enhanced by using a micro-nutrient liquid fertilizer such as a seaweed or fish emulsion.
Keep an eye out for caterpillars and leaf miners too. Spray, if needed, with an organic spray such as pyrethrum or neem oil.
Growing gerbera daisies can have some challenges, but it is a wonderful reward when those big, happy flowers bloom.
How to grow gerberas
Expert advice on growing gerbera or Transvaal daisy in our detailed Grow Guide.
Published: Friday, 15 January, 2021 at 10:35 am
Gerberas bear huge daisy-like blooms on long stems, from clumps of lobed leaves. Long-flowering, they’re perfect for pots, adding colour to borders and even indoor conservatory displays. Gerberas also work well as a cut flower – the large, bold blooms are borne on sturdy single stems and last for weeks in a vase. Gerbera daisies come in many colours from bright shades of hot pink, red and yellow to cooler pastel yellows, pale pink and white.
Most gerberas originate from South Africa, hence the common names of Transvaal daisy, African daisy and the Barbeton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii). This species used to be the only one widely available in cultivation and is frost tender, grown primarily as an indoor plant. Recent years have seen the development of hardy gerberas that can withstand several degrees of frost, notably the ‘Garvinea’ varieties that can bloom from spring right through summer, sometimes even flowering up to the first frosts. Gerbera daisy blooms are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.
Cultivated in India
Gerbera cut flowers are mainly cultivated in India, people of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh of India do its main cultivation.
Scientific name Gerbera Jamesonii
Plant type Flowering plant
Blooming time Summer to autumn (Depends on species)
Flower colors Red, Yellow, Orange, Cream, White, Purple, and pink
Growing Gerbera Daisies
The gerbera daisy is hardy to 28 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoys full sun to partial shade. It thrives in well-drained, warm, rich soil and requires twice-weekly watering. Removal of expired flower heads promotes further blooms.
Certain pests and diseases plague the gerbera daisy, including aphids, spider mites, leaf miners, thrips, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt and leaf spot. Gardeners use a variety of commercial and natural methods to prevent damage by pests and diseases.
- The word "gerbera" originated in honor of Traugott Gerber, an early 18th-century German naturalist.
- Most contemporary varieties of gerbera daisy stem from Mr. Lynch's cross-breedings.
Gerbera Daisy can be prone to a variety of diseases, including:
- Pests—these can include plant lice or aphids, which you can control with herbicides. You can also pick them off or lightly spray the leaves with jets of water. Make sure that the plant dries to prevent other problems.
- Grey mildew—this can happen if the conditions are very damp. To keep this from happening, make sure that the leaves and flowers are left to dry. When watering them, try to avoid getting the leaves wet. If growing in a greenhouse, make sure it is well aerated.
- Root rot—to prevent either, make sure that there is adequate drainage. These are caused by the plant remaining in soggy soil and standing water.
- Crown rot—this happens when the crowns are planted too deeply. Make sure that the crowns are visible above the soil. Let them dry between each time you water them.
- Chlorosis—this is when the leaves have yellow stripes. To prevent this keep the acidic pH level below 6.5. If it is lower than 5.5, then you may see black patches or spots on the leaves.
The bold colors of Gerbera daisies need to be carefully integrated into flowers bed with subtle colors. They work best contrasted against simple plants with delicate white or pale blooms and airy foliage. Complementary colored Calibrachoa and Diascia make a nice contrast. To play up the bold colors, pair Gerbera daisies with plants that have yellow foliage, like the short grasses of Hakonechloa macra. Small or spiky blue flowers, such as those found on sage and lobelia, also bring out the boldness of Gerber daisies. And of course, you can always grow Gerbera daisies by themselves. They easily fill up a pot for a colorful statement.
Cut Gerbera daisies when the flowers are fully opened, but the center remains tight. The stems will take as much water as you give them, but too much water will shorten the display time. Place them in 1 inch of water and add more as necessary. If the base of the stem begins to discolor, make a fresh cut on an angle.